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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller
"A meditation on sense-making when there's no sense to be made, on letting go when we can't hold on, and on being unafraid even when we're terrified." (Lucy Kalanithi)
"Belongs on the shelf alongside other terrific books about this difficult subject, like Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air and Atul Gawande's Being Mortal." (Gates Notes)
Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God's disapproval. At 35, everything in her life seems to point toward "blessing". She is thriving in her job, married to her high school sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son.
Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.
The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with "a surge of determination". Even as this type of Christianity celebrates the American can-do spirit, it implies that if you "can't do" and succumb to illness or misfortune, you are a failure. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.
Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate Bowler pulls the reader deeply into her life in an account she populates affectionately with a colorful, often hilarious retinue of friends, megachurch preachers, relatives, and doctors. Everything Happens for a Reason tells her story, offering up her irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live. 
©2018 Kate Bowler (P)2018 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"I fell hard and fast for Kate Bowler. Her writing is naked, elegant, and gripping - she's like a Christian Joan Didion. I left Kate's story feeling more present, more grateful, and a hell of a lot less alone. And what else is art for?" (Glennon Doyle, number one New York Times best-selling author of Love Warrior and president of Together Rising)
"Bowler's dry humor and raw, personal accounts help make thinking about our common fate bearable." (The Wall Street Journal)
"Bowler's lovely prose and sharp wit capture her struggle to find continued joy after her [stage IV cancer] diagnosis. This poignant look at the unpredictable promises of faith will amaze readers." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rachel L. Stewart on 02-13-18

Exceptionally human

I have never felt more understood. Kate’s capacity for articulating the human experience in dealing with “life in-between” is exceptional. It was all I could do not to weep the entire time. She has so beautifully captured what it is like to simultaneously need to be weary, while needing to also summon the strength to carry on. I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone dealing with prolonged illness, medical mysteries, dying, not dying, living, not living, or one who loves others who are. Basically everyone.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Queenbeeof5 on 04-03-18

Brutiful

I’m broken open after listening to Kate. This was beautiful and painful. I laughed too loud and cried too much all the way through. I’m so grateful Kate Bowler was willing to share herself and her experience with the world.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Carly Hopgood on 07-07-18

just so... real.

so touching and genuine. also really helpful in dealing with grieving people. I'll certainly do it differently in the future.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Marion on 03-08-18

Not what I thought

Thought this was about how/why everything happens for a reason, the reason behind it.
But it was her life story and journey of going through cancer... sad- but interesting? Not sure!

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